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Thread: Working Abroad

  1. #11
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    As I eventually want to work overseas again, and have done so for the military before... my recommendations:

    - Go there as a visitor. For like. A month. Live cheaply, deal with living as much as possible on as little as possible.

    If you can do that, living off of nearly nothing and still enjoying your time there more than the comforts of home, then you'll know you're ready to work there. Many cool places to go are expensive to live in--and for a reason. They're cool. So, go there on the month with the crappiest weather, and deal with it.

    Don't stay in a nice, fancy hotel/condo, eat out everyday, and vacation, and then come back and say "I want to live there and work there!" Couchsurf, or something like that, and probe into daily life there. It'll give you way more realistic expectations.

    I do want to work overseas for the convenience of travel--I want a part-time job where I can go somewhere on my weekends.. but part-time work + time = very little money. You have to know how to survive on it without feeling blue about it to really enjoy your time there.

    The other way to do it--get a bad ass job that is viable anywhere and make money no matter where you go. Warning: This is going to cause a lot of nasty school work and networking.

    Third way to do it: Intensively practice the other language (if it inspires you) if you're not currently fluent, and become a translator. They have a happy marriage of worlds, but they're paid for their knowledge. If you practice hard, you can learn a language and become more fluent with crappy jobs and earn your way quickly into getting better jobs.
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  2. #12
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    The area around Misawa is flat, rural, bucolic, and pretty. The north of Japan is mainly fishing villages and small towns; the south of Japan has the industrial centers. Hachinohe is the city nearest to Misawa of any real size, and it's a good spot for touring.

    I was in Misawa during the summer and left there just as the first frosts hit. But winters are supposed to be moderate (20s and 30s) with lots of snow. Across the water is Hokkaido, of course. The capital, Sapporo, hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972.

    I didn't get out and around as much in Misawa as I would have liked. I stayed in Tokyo for a few days when traveling between Hawaii and Misawa and saw the countryside by train. I didn't get up to Hokkaido; I would have liked to check that out, but that's a pretty big expedition and requires some cash and time. Due to a tight work schedule, I mostly stayed pretty close to base. But even just hitting the bars and restaurants off-base in Misawa was fun. They were full-blown, old-style Japanese establishments, small and cozy; some of the old hostesses said that they had been brought up in the old Geisha style as young women (though they wore western clothes by the 1970s). A few of us would go out there during the week, have the place all to ourselves, and party until closing time. The US dollar was still king back then, so it was all quite affordable.

    Of course, this all dates back 40 years. But I remember Misawa as a mellow, pretty, laid-back rural setting.

    One more reminiscence: The summer nights were cool, and we slept in old barracks with screened windows. The Japanese mosquitos made it through gaps and rips in the screens and raised sizable welts when they bit us. One guy wasn't getting bit though, and I asked him what he was doing differently. He suggested that it might be his soap (Irish Spring, I think). So I switched soaps, and from then on I didn't have any more trouble with the mosquitos. Just a bit of trivia that might come in handy in the future.



    There are a couple beaches; just not as nice or as plentiful as in Hawaii. Some are private resort beaches. Google okinawa & beaches for more info. Friends of mine who checked them out weren't much impressed by them, so I didn't even bother going to them. But part of the problem was that I was coming from Hawaii, and Hawaii kind of spoils you when it comes to beaches.
    From the data, Misawa is still very rural compared to other parts of Japan, 300/km^2, so not very dense at all. So I am quite sure there are still a lot of things there that have stayed similarly to how they were in the 70's. It's not uncommon that there are some parts that still go through the old ways of doing things. I remember watching a video in high school about how rural towns still went through the old ways of making umbrellas and kimonos (through hand) even though everywhere else is using machines to make them.

    I'm curious, were you able to see the Leonid meteor showers during that time? Or were you in Japan afterwards? I'm not sure if Japan had a view of it, but I heard the meteor shower during that time was twice as spectacular as the one I saw in middle school (which is in 2001.)

    And coincidentally, that is the brand of soap I use, and still use. Not because of the anti-mosquito bite properties, but because I like the scent. I'll be right at home if they sell that brand of soap there or if I am allowed to bring my own soap.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    As I eventually want to work overseas again, and have done so for the military before... my recommendations:

    - Go there as a visitor. For like. A month. Live cheaply, deal with living as much as possible on as little as possible.

    If you can do that, living off of nearly nothing and still enjoying your time there more than the comforts of home, then you'll know you're ready to work there. Many cool places to go are expensive to live in--and for a reason. They're cool. So, go there on the month with the crappiest weather, and deal with it.

    Don't stay in a nice, fancy hotel/condo, eat out everyday, and vacation, and then come back and say "I want to live there and work there!" Couchsurf, or something like that, and probe into daily life there. It'll give you way more realistic expectations.

    I do want to work overseas for the convenience of travel--I want a part-time job where I can go somewhere on my weekends.. but part-time work + time = very little money. You have to know how to survive on it without feeling blue about it to really enjoy your time there.

    The other way to do it--get a bad ass job that is viable anywhere and make money no matter where you go. Warning: This is going to cause a lot of nasty school work and networking.

    Third way to do it: Intensively practice the other language (if it inspires you) if you're not currently fluent, and become a translator. They have a happy marriage of worlds, but they're paid for their knowledge. If you practice hard, you can learn a language and become more fluent with crappy jobs and earn your way quickly into getting better jobs.
    What being a student has taught me is to find ways to be a bit more frugal with my spending Kind of the difference between the things I need versus the things I want. If I really wanted something, it means I have to take away something else. A lot of the English teaching programs abroad, at least the government funded ones, give you barely enough to live accordingly over there. And I think there was a thing against foreigners living there. People don't want to rent out a cheap home because of the foreigner status, and the ones that who, lend them for high prices.

    The easiest way for me to learn any language is to be dropped right in the middle of people that speaks it. Of course, speaking isn't the only thing I want to learn. College doesn't give me as much free-time as I would of hoped (ok, that's a lie.) I bought a book that was completely in a different language, although I am able to translate the book word for word, page by page (if slowly,) I haven't started yet (only did the cover.) I'll probably bring that book around with me once college is over.

    I'll be trying to look for a sweet spot where I can be close to work, but at the same time, don't need to spend more than I need to.

  3. #13
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Update: I am currently doing the application process. And well, I've been told something that I already knew about the process.... it is competitive.

    Again, I am still creating the necessary documents, and wow, I've been bombarded by a text that says that only about 30 people in my region will probably be accepted, to narrow it down, 7 people in my general area will be accepted. Wow, wow, wow...wow.....wow.

    One of the person says that there is maybe 15 people that he knows that may/may not apply... so the chances are maybe less than 1/2 that I alone can get in.

    So I need to bring myself apart from these 8 other people to get a seat.

  4. #14
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Update: I am currently doing the application process. And well, I've been told something that I already knew about the process.... it is competitive.

    Again, I am still creating the necessary documents, and wow, I've been bombarded by a text that says that only about 30 people in my region will probably be accepted, to narrow it down, 7 people in my general area will be accepted. Wow, wow, wow...wow.....wow.

    One of the person says that there is maybe 15 people that he knows that may/may not apply... so the chances are maybe less than 1/2 that I alone can get in.

    So I need to bring myself apart from these 8 other people to get a seat.
    So is it Japan that you are planning to go to?
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  5. #15
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Hysteria View Post
    So is it Japan that you are planning to go to?
    Lots of places, actually. Japan is one of them though. At this time, Japan is the place I'll be trying to get in to.

    But I also want to somehow stay in Taiwan, South Korea, Germany (taking up a year or two each) and/or do Peace Corps. All them them..... competitive. I am also willing to reside in a few places that have warmer weather as long as it is possible to teach or work abroad and that it isn't primarily English that is being used (other places thought of so far is Singapore or Malaysia.)

    All that is required is that I can sustain myself while living abroad (work, food, water, shelter, and a somewhat safe environment.)

  6. #16
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Lots of places, actually. Japan is one of them though. At this time, Japan is the place I'll be trying to get in to.

    But I also want to somehow stay in Taiwan, South Korea, Germany (taking up a year or two each) and/or do Peace Corps. All them them..... competitive. I am also willing to reside in a few places that have warmer weather as long as it is possible to teach or work abroad and that it isn't primarily English that is being used (other places thought of so far is Singapore or Malaysia.)

    All that is required is that I can sustain myself while living abroad (work, food, water, shelter, and a somewhat safe environment.)
    I have spent the past 4 and a half years living abroad in 2 different continents. I totally understand why someone wants that experience.
    Good luck to you!
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  7. #17
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    My idea right now is to get hired on as a nurse at military bases or American-based hospitals around the world.. do part-time or full time work in places or get hired on as a traveling nurse and be able to sort of go exploring the country in my off time and just carefully budget my monies. I hope I get to do this, I plan on sticking around long enough for a year or two's worth of experience stateside so that I can make bank enough to drag people along with me and/or ensure I have no bills and debts leading up to it all.

    Wish you the best of luck man, Traveling is amazing I loved Europe and I cannot wait to go back and Japan has been in my heart since I was a small child so you'll have all my envies.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

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